Sometimes, one may appear to be an uncaring person, neighbor or friend. I like to consider that a friend may be busy, overwhelmed, and that my phone call or visit at that time may just add to their feeling of being overwhelmed.
So, your friend just had a baby! You want to be the good neighbor or friend, and you just keep calling and calling and…more calling. Mothers with newborns will let you know that they are already stressed from having a baby, thinking of how they will care for their newborn, husband, and maybe other kids too. Yes, you want to show love to them, we know. But, there are more effective ways of showing love that will bring relief to the new mom.
How can you show love to a New Mom in a way that will be appreciated without turning yourself into a pain? If you want great ideas on how you can support a new mom, you can try some of these:
- Visit Only When You Have Confirmed it’s Okay to do so. Yeah, yeah, I know, we are Nigerians, and we just like to show love, even at odd hours. But, please be considerate in showing love.
“Don’t visit your neighbors too often, or you will wear out your welcome” – Proverbs 25: 17 [The Bible, NLT]
- Don’t Visit Empty handed. Take something along, especially essentials that you’re sure a new parent would need. Cooked food, soups…whatever you believe a new mom could need, not just gifts for the baby. In the alternative, you could ask the new mom if there’s something you could bring along that, maybe they ran out of or forgot to buy.
- When you visit, make it a short one! Don’t stay there and keep jabbing on and on and…on. New parents often have tons of work and sleeping to do. Just pop in, say hello and leave after a little while [except of course you’re family and you don’t need your host to entertain you, you can sort yourself out]. I remember when I had my last baby, a certain person – not someone I was close to – [let’s call that person CT] came to visit. My older kids were preparing for exams and I was trying to revise with them. We had books all over the place, with my new born strapped in her bouncer half asleep and half awake. And this certain person just stayed on and on and on, and even after several hint dropping about the numerous things I had to do, the person just refused to leave. I had offered CT drinks and some snacks, which had been politely refused under the guise of ‘too much sugar’. I didn’t realize that CT had been waiting for food [lol]. I also politely pointed out the fact that the there was no food as the kids had only just had lunch before your arrival, and dinner won’t be made till they were done with revision. CT left a short while after that. I guess the hint was finally taken. So, don’t overstay your welcome!
- Make yourself useful to the new mom while you’re there. Ask what they need help with. They may decline just to be polite, but if you press them, it shows you really want to help, and they are likely to take you up on your offer [except of course you didn’t really want to help]. Even if it’s just to do the dishes, help with the laundry, whip up a dish for them while you’re there. That way,even if you stay longer, they definitely won’t mind, because you’re adding value by your visit.
- Don’t overburden the New Mom with all your wonderful advice about how you raised your own baby, unless she asks you for your help. Just be nice, make yourself useful and leave.
You can do it, just be a great New Mom Friend.
From Someone who’s seen the two sides,
This post was first published on www.strivingnigerianmom.com